Wayne Rooney says Jose Mourinho has brought back a winning mentality
Published 29/07/2016 | 06:26
Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney believes new manager Jose Mourinho has brought a winning mentality back to the club.
The Portuguese, who has 17 major trophies on his CV including eight league titles in four countries and two Champions League triumphs with different clubs, replaced Louis van Gaal this summer.
Although his predecessor won the FA Cup in his final match in charge the feeling at Old Trafford was the club was lacking the drive previously provided by Sir Alex Ferguson.
Rooney said Mourinho's arrival has corrected that.
"It's always great to get a new manager but when you get someone in the stature of Jose Mourinho he's great to work under and he's brought a winning mentality back to the club," the England captain told Manchester radio station Key 103.
"Manchester United as a football club we have to win and we have to deliver for him.
"There's pressure on the players but we're ready and I think this season we'll give a real challenge on all fronts.
"He's come in, he's been great with the players. The training has been hard but enjoyable.
"We're ready, we're working hard. We know it's a big season for us.
"He's made, in my opinion, some great signings who have gelled in really well with the squad so it's exciting times."
The 30-year-old starts the season needing just five goals to break United's all-time scoring record held by Sir Bobby Charlton but he is already looking at life beyond his playing days.
"I've started taking my coaching badges now so that will probably take about four or five years to complete," he added.
"Of course I've got a lot of experience playing football so I think it would be criminal If I didn't try and pass that knowledge on so hopefully when I finish playing I can get some role as a manager or coach and try and use the experience I've built up over the years."
Rooney described Mourinho as having "a good balance of being the manager but also being a friend to the players" but that may not be an opinion shared by some after the Portuguese reportedly began his summer clear-out with up to nine players said to be on their way out of Old Trafford.
Several national newspapers suggested Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, who on Friday announced his retirement from international football with Germany, will be the highest-profile victim a little more than a year after he joined from Bayern Munich.
Defenders Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Tim Fosu-Mensah, Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair are also said to have been told they have no future.
Midfielders Adnan Januzaj and Andreas Pereira and forwards James Wilson and Will Keane make up the reported nine.
Since his arrival Mourinho has brought in defender Eric Bailly, midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan and striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and are understood to be pursuing a potentially record-breaking deal for Juventus' France midfielder Paul Pogba.
Rooney, who has yet to play for Mourinho having sat out the game against Borussia Dortmund in Shanghai, was part of the squad which flew out to Gothenburg for Saturday's friendly against Galatasary, which is likely to see Ibrahimovic make his first appearance in a United shirt.
The 34-year-old Swede trained with his new team-mates for the first time on Thursday and has been included in the 23-man travelling party.
He was joined in the squad by four others who did not travel to China for the first leg of United's pre-season preparations - Matteo Darmian, Marouane Fellaini, Morgan Schneiderlin and Anthony Martial - following their involvement in the latter stages of Euro 2016.
Schweinsteiger, though, was omitted from the squad.
Pogba's agent Mino Raiola, meanwhile, hit out at the UK and Italian media for jumping the gun over the Frenchman's much-publicised transfer, insisting no deal has yet been concluded.
Raiola, who also represents Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, both of whom have moved to Old Trafford this summer, wrote on Twitter: "Journalist = parrots
"No deal done between Clubs
"Its a game between Italy press and UK press who announce it first and who is worse."